Let’s get ready
Being organised is key. What’s your employment status – are you self-employed, a limited company or a Pay As You Earn individual (PAYE). Do you have your P60 or P45? What is your personal situation – married, single, with or without dependents?
Do any of the following apply to you?
- Rental income (domestic or international).
- Investment income (shares, credit union dividends, or share dividends).
- Foreign income (offshore investments, foreign bank accounts).
- Chargeable assets (shares or property).
- Other income (fees/commissions, maintenance payments, patens/royalties, estate income, exempt income or other).
Next step: meet ROS
Who or what is ROS? ROS is the Revenue Online Service. It’s an online system that allows you to quickly and securely file tax returns, pay tax liabilities, and access your tax records, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days of the year.
The main features of ROS include the ability to:
- File returns online
- Calculate tax liability
- Claim repayments
- Pay Income Tax (by laser card, debit instruction or online banking)
Basically you input the figures and the system lets you know how much you owe.
Some of the benefits of filing online:
- Reduction in paper handling, photocopying and compliance costs
- Instant acknowledgement of your return
- Faster processing of your return & payment
- Speedier repayments
- Access to your tax records via revenue.ie from your PC/laptop
Possibly the biggest benefit to filing online is the two week extension granted to tax payers who file online. The October 31st deadline applies only to those who complete paper based returns, whereas tax payers who have signed up for ROS have until November 15th to make their return.
Getting started on ROS
To go live on the ROS system you need to apply for a code, respond, and then download a digital certificate. This three step process is outlined below:
- Step 1: Apply to register
- Step 2: You are then sent your ROS access number
- Step 3: You are then sent your access code
(Think of steps 2 and 3 in a similar way to receiving your ATM card and PIN number in separate mailings for security reasons).
This process can take a week to ten days. As we are now at the mid-point of October you need to start this application process now.
- Your bank account must be ready and mandated for direct debit on that day.
- If you are due a refund we would advise tax payers to file early.
- The full list of allowances are published on the ROS website.
- Keep your receipts. As ROS is a paperless system they can’t be submitted, however, you will need to keep them in the event that you are audited.
So why do I still need an accountant?
Now I can self serve online, why do I still need an accountant? The Revenue website provides great information, however not all the reliefs are listed. Here are some of the reasons you should still use an accountant:
- Your accountant has an extensive knowledge of the current tax reliefs and your eligibility in relation to them.
- Your accountant has their own agent identification number for the ROS system. They can complete multiple returns on behalf of their clients, and in turn dispense with the need for you to set yourself up on the ROS system.
- With a bit of luck, you are up to your eyes in the day-to-day management of your business so it makes sense to let an accountant handle your return, and meet the relevant tax deadlines on your behalf.
- Your accountant is less likely to make a costly mistake in the calculation of your tax return.
- Your accountant can help you navigate the ROS system, giving peace of mind and removing the hassles and headaches of trying to decipher it on your lonesome.
Call us today on 01 8404029 to complete your return, meet the tax deadline and ensure that you receive all the entitlements that you deserve.